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The role of self-control in effective political working

School of Business and Economics

About the Project

Reference number: SBE-EDJS20
Start date of studentship: 1 January 2021
Closing date of advert: 26 July 2020

Primary supervisor: Dr Erik Dietl
Secondary supervisor: Professor Jo Silvester

You have the opportunity to …

• complete a PhD at an internationally renowned research university
• take part in a project on a contemporary topic with high practical relevance
• work in a dynamic and collaborative team dedicated to top-tier research and fostering a positive working atmosphere
• partake in career development, including mentoring, regular feedback, support for (international) conferences
• develop a broad skill set through professional engagement and teaching experience

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project Detail

Despite growing distrust in governments and political leadership globally, organisational psychologists have largely ignored political work, defined as: work undertaken by elected or appointed individuals whose roles exist to deliver, support or influence democratic government within local, national and international legislatures (e.g., MPs, civil servants), inter-governmental organizations (e.g., United Nations), or non-governmental organisations (Silvester et al., 2019;

This project addresses this gap by drawing on recent theoretical advances in self-control research (see Lian et al., 2017, AMA) to investigate how effective political work can be promoted. Self-control helps people to resist short-term temptations and spontaneous impulses in the pursuit of goal-progress. It is linked to a wide range of beneficial outcomes. However, none of this research has investigated the importance of self-control in political work, where a need for individuals to negotiate consensus, broker alliances and maintain secrecy can be of utmost importance in achieving agreement on complex issues between multiple stakeholders. This project will enhance our understanding of the capacities required for effective political work by using methods such as experience sampling surveys, multi-source studies and mixed method designs.

We are looking for someone with an excellent MSc in (Work) Psychology or similar, very good quantitative methods skills, and interest in an academic career. This project will enable you to develop your own strand of research and is expected to result in jointly authored journal articles.

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Entry requirements

UK Masters degree (with average programme mark of no less than 65%) or International equivalent. English Language requirement of IELTS band 7.0 or above with not less than 7.0 in each component.

Contact details

Name: Dr Erik Dietl
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 228352

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Business School. Please upload with your application a 2000-words literature review on political work and self-control, copies of your transcripts/certificates, English Language certificate and two academic references.

Please quote reference number: SBE-EDJS20

Funding Notes

The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

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